Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Silent Narco Violence: Camargo is worse than Juarez

Friday, May 10, 2013 |

Patricia Mayorga Proceso (May 10, 2013)

 

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

Chihuahua, Chih. (apro).-The residents of Camargo, located in the south central part of the State of Chihuahua, have faced violence almost in silence, isolated, invisible. From 2008 to 2009, intentional homicides increased 550%, going from nine to 51, and from 2008 to 2012, they increased another 40%, from 65 to 90.

While murders decreased in municipalities like Juarez, Chihuahua, in Camargo they broke out. In only four years (from 2008 to 2012), 288 persons were killed -- 268 men and 20 women -- and there were at least five massacres.

Last year, when the alleged leader of the Sinaloa cartel for the southern part of the state, Lamberto Gurrola Hernandez, El Gato,  was arrested in Parral, peace returned to Camargo.

From September, 2012, to this past April, the city fought to recover. The number of civic organizations increased and people focused on taking over public spaces and working, commented a businessman in the restaurant industry.

"We changed some of our practices. We prefer not to open our business too late, we'd rather open early and... well, whatever we can do. We're OK, if a person is not doing bad stuff, he doesn't have to worry, you just have to be careful", is this businessman's opinion, who prefers to remain anonymous because he says nobody can talk freely.

He says there are persons in Camargo, persons who are not from around there, who "become rich suddenly. You can't say anything because they'll kill you. Reality is different for those people, they live a different kind of life. There's places where there are these huge houses and the people drive these huge trucks, but they don't work or have a business, it's very noticeable," he adds.

The municipality (county) of Camargo has 47,000 inhabitants, and the county seat, where the last massacre took place, has a little over 39,000.

The apparent peace ended this past April 29th, when an armed group of men broke into the cock-fighting arena, El Coliseo, around 1:00 a.m. The fight had been over for more than an hour, when they came to murder four people, among them a 22-year old city police officer, an alleged gunman and two civilians.

The next day, the bodies of two men were found, who had apparently participated in the massacre. They were Francisco Alonso Salazar Chavez and Juan Antonio Martha de los Santos. They were wearing face masks and they had been shot between ten and 15 times with "cuernos de chivo" (AK-47 rifles) and other calibers. They were approximately 20 years old, according to Camargo municipal police.

"I don't want to die"-- murdered police officer to his chief

Daniel Alejandro Soto Giner was 22 years old and had been working with the municipal police for two years. On April 28, he was assigned to guard the entrance of the arena. Two other fellow police officers were inside, also providing security.

When the group of armed men wearing hoods came in, the first one they shot was Daniel Soto. Then they killed Sixto Ivan Aguirre Infante, Jose Raul Chavez and Jose Humberto Chacon Gomez -- this last being the alleged gunman they were after, according to the investigation by the State Attorney General, Central Zone.

Daniel Soto was wounded and was taken to the hospital. There, he told his boss: "I don't want to die, I want to go on working as a policeman and serve (the people)." But he died. The story was narrated by the municipal president, Arturo Zubia Fernandez, during the open casket ceremony they held for Soto in the police headquarters on April 30.

The mayor underlined the agent's professionalism. "We are overcome by grief and anger, he was a young man who had recently graduated from the academy, a member of the tactical group, he behaved with professionalism and was cheerful. We feel this tragic loss, we are overcome with great desperation and impotence when these things happen," he added.

His sister called for justice in front of police officers from Jimenez, San Francisco and Camargo.
3 Relatives of the municipal president were kidnapped and killed
Newspaper coverage, between anonymity and threats
Camargo lived peacefully for about six months, says journalist Luis Fernando Gonzalez, who, with his partner, Pedro Sarmiento, has covered the wave of violence quietly.

In 2008, they came face to face with escalating violence. "There was a death, then another one, more and more killings. Killings everywhere, they caught up with the numbers from the rest of the state," recalls Luis Fernando....continued next page

In the communications medium they work for, TV Camargo, cable television, they have reported on massacres, persons whose throats were cut, incinerated, everything. "It has been very bloody, we have seen the worst," they say.

With the arrest of El Gato, Gonzalez admits, the violence died down, violence that was caused by the struggle between two groups for control of the plaza.  "Even the night life came back; nobody was going out any more, but people started going out again. Many had left," he comments.

Now, with the return of the wave of violence, Luis Fernando agrees with the rest of the residents: "All is silence now, nobody talks about it, as if they were trying to forget and not relive what we experienced. It's as if they want to forget, ignore it. Camargo was peaceful and what happened really has an impact."

He maintains that people had begun to feel self confident, and social life was strengthened after years in which there was a lot of divisiveness. Organized civil society, he believes, did a good job and now the inhabitants refuse to accept the return of violence.

Camargo experienced at least five multiple murders between 2011 and 2012, four in bars and another one in a safe house. People stopped going out at night.

During the peaceful period -- six months ago-- Camargo residents got brave enough to go out and opened night businesses.

However, after the massacre in El Coliseo, the bars were closed again, among them one of the most popular ones. In addition, there have been kidnappings, the last one was that of a nurse who has not reappeared.

There are at least 30 persons who disappeared, estimates Luis Fernando Gonzalez, with emphasis on the case of Jose Gonzalez Marti, 80 years old. His family has paid the ransom twice and they haven't released him yet.

"They opened up a new area in the cemetery. It's always full of widows and orphans crying. There have been more than 200 Camargo deaths. It has been a nightmare that we have covered, with God's help; it was a new thing for us," says the journalist.  

Because of the information they deal with in their work they have received anonymous calls complaining about reports or for them to get the word out. Their decisions have been based on common sense, depending on the case.

Without security protocols, and in complete isolation, they have reported on all the violent incidents, relying only on the citizenry, says Luis Fernando.

"It has been a macabre apprenticeship, we don't have any protection, the people always help us. We have received threats, including (against) our families, but we have gone forward, with only our common sense," recalls Pedro Sarmiento.

Camargo is located between Delicias and Jimenez, two cities in the south central zone, where violence has increased considerably this year. In April, it caught up with Camargo.

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31 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Always pass through here on the way to DGO from Ojinaga, seems to be a good drug rout.

Anonymous said...

'' In only four years (from 2008 to 2012), 288 persons were killed ''

Less than 300 in 4 years? I think Juarez saw about 3,000 deaths in almost 3 years.

Anonymous said...

See this is why people get fooled into believing CDS are nice people but thats far from the truth,its just that most of their turf is out in the rural areas....away from media,they do what the hell they want and if you get in the way then you disappear.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long before all the good people it's gone then what

Anonymous said...

Yeah but Juarez has how many residents compare to this peace Loks

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 7:59 PM 300 in 3 years in such a small place has a huge impact, it´s a very high percentage, much higher than Juarez

Anonymous said...

@7:59: It's a matter of proportion. Juarez had about 2 million inhabitants compared to 40,000 in Camargo, so Juarez had 50 times Camargo's population. Therefore, in proportion, Camargo's murder rate was much higher than Juarez's even though the actual number of deaths was lower.--un vato

Anonymous said...

We can all thank chapo and his cds for all of this violence

Anonymous said...

I lived in lomas del florido. A neighborhood in camargo. When chapo and his gente nueva came in he promised us the world. All my friends are dead el sureño,el Chango,el socro,la aguatata,el vigil. Well vigil was a dick. We ran this town until chapo brought his guys and we showed them how to work here.all ppls from la abram gonzales to lomas and cuatro milpas asta el centro were ours. Once they learned he stopped paying us and la gente nueva started killing us in ambushes. Once los chapos didn't need us they turned all my friends and family to la linea and were tortured and killed. We were stupid and young. Most of us grew up in the u.s. And were deported for doing time. I since moved to aguas calientes and live in peace. Chapo and his ppl are just as bad as la letra. I read all the crappy comments and hope some of you end up here in this war zone and still make those stupid remarks. Forget about mexico. Mexicos soul died years ago. Live happy in el gabacho and pray to God u don't end up here.
Atte un deportado

Anonymous said...

Sapo Guzman siempre a tenido la fama,de traicionero pero la gente no entiende.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry fellas. It's La Linea and associates that are being killed.

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Anonymous said...

That mofo said he was overcome with impotence lol

Anonymous said...

Happy to find this message board about our neighbor to the south. Planning a getaway to the Mexico City area at the beginning of August, and just looking for any advice. We are fully aware of the basics like taking plenty of sunscreen, vitamins, and of course brushing up on our Espanol. Anything else would be helpful. Also, would anyone happen to know if there is a Whole Foods Market, or at least a Trader Joe's Market in the Mexico City area? Thank you in advance.

Marcy H. (Road Warrior)
Glendora CA

Anonymous said...

Indeed and more if needed.. they should destroy the small groups with no funds cause they only extort, and that way is less of a power strugle, and all bow down to the ruling force thats dominant. "Comon sence not rocket sience"

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 11:06 PM
"I lived in lomas del florido. A neighborhood in camargo"
Yup,what the fuck do cartels do for the majority of Mexicans,fuck all,except cause cain and murder,oh,and make silly ass names up for themselves?Many pricks on here worship Guzman and the rest,and most aint involved in shit?I hope Mencho or Azul got topped today along with a shitload of CJNG more pretenders.All these need sweeping out along with corrupt politicans.
"Forget about mexico. Mexicos soul died years ago. Live happy in el gabacho and pray to God u don't end up here"Sad shit bro,hopefully not?

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 8:12 PM
"See this is why people get fooled into believing CDS are nice people but thats far from the truth"
None of them are any good bro,you right.How can they do this to their own people?Not even innocent clean hands are safe from these dogs any more.The level of impunity is unbelievable,who can these people turn to?No one cares,not even their own?

Anonymous said...

"He maintains that people had begun to feel self confident, and social life was strengthened after years in which there was a lot of divisiveness. Organized civil society, he believes, did a good job and now the inhabitants refuse to accept the return of violence."
-----
I was pleased to see this said, particularly the last sentence. It is imperative that people all over Mx refuse to accept violence and corruption as a normality in life.

Anonymous said...

Fck chapo he will go down sooner or later juss like pablo escobar did that's a promise

Anonymous said...

9:58 why Mr.tough guy because you're gonna take him down?? Don't make promises u can't keep .. internet sicario

Anonymous said...

"Forget about mexico. Mexicos soul died years ago. Live happy in el gabacho and pray to God u don't end up here"
im from ojinaga and live here although its kind of calm compared to other cities but at the end of the day its still mexico and from one deportado to another its true pray that u dont end up here!
atte Foros reppin

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 11:06 PM - Because of Idiot traitors like you & your friends where stupid enough to believe el chapos lies & promises of wealth the sinaloa fags found it easy to enter the territory of Chihuahua & create a mess all over the place for 6+ years & Chihuahua still does not belong to them. traitors like you better get the fuck out of Chihuahua & go find refuge somewhere else..perhaps Sinaloa will take you, they like treasonous pieces of shit like you, you’ll fit right in. If you stay here you & your sinaloa buttbudies will be found sooner or later.

sinaloa cartel members & sianloenses are being killed all over Chiwas. Chihuahua es el Esatado mas chignon in toda la republica! sinaloa y los sinaloenses que chingen a toda su madre NUNCA van a controlar a Chihuahua Coahuila, Baja, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas.

Anonymous said...

Your on fire, smoking hot. De que mueren Los ardidos? DGO al millon.

Anonymous said...

@May 11, 2013 at 11:59 AM more like internet troll.

Anonymous said...

@Marcy H. (Road Warrior)
"taking plenty of sunscreen"
Say,whuaaaaaaaaatttt ? Dont forget mouthwash,clean underwear,and condoms.Any other questions ?

Anonymous said...

De que mueren Los quemados!! Mecate!! Jaja. El chiwas ese la tira de perrote. Por Internet todos son cabrones. El chavo ese.de lomas no es de juegos. Aqui dejo su historia. Lo quisieron chingar los chapos . Eran como diez con largas. Le tumbaron a el pasajero y el tumbo uno con la corta y a dos los hizo mierda con su yukon. Los atropello como perros. El compa es de huevos. Dicen que esta en ags calientes. Si tantos huevos valla x el usted. Le dicen el José.

Anonymous said...

atte Foros reppin
"from one deportado to another its true pray that u dont end up here"
Get your ass back up here bro,anyway if shit goes right,maybe you can.Imma a gringo by the way,just to show were not all pricks.Hope you can get back,if you want to bro.

Anonymous said...

ROFL. Go to advriders.com. they will give you all the info you need. Lol

Anonymous said...

Sixto Aguirre-Infante was a wanted fugitive by the Feds. His brother, Eric Aguirre-Infante is also a fugitive.

Anonymous said...

It's time for well trained paramilitary forces to get in there and start rooting them out. Those houses on the hill, the ones with the big trucks and not part of the local economy, take em out. I'm sorry to come to this realization. I'm actually quite a pacifist. I see no other way than to use overwhelming force and fight fire with fire. I'm not a 2nm Amendment gun freak, but I think that Mexico's ban on all weapons is really detrimental to the average citizen there. Perhaps we should start an organization called "Armas sin Fronteras" to arm the people.

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